Monday, March 2, 2015

Please don't feed the birds.

Very few topics about urban pest control get people more upset than asking them not to feed the birds. A huge number of, in the neighborhood of 1 in 6, Americans feed the birds.  Generally the biggest challenge is trying to stop bird feeding when rodents are an issue. It may seem miserly not to feed birds when there is snow on the ground, but preventing negative unintended consequences is the reason for discouraging the practice of feeding any wildlife. Bird seed inside a home is a food source for rodents and meal moths.  Outside it is a food source for many animals and the feeding sites can contain many diseases that may impact visiting birds. For information from Mass Wildlife biologists on feeding wildlife click here.  An interesting book on urban wildlife worth reading is "Nature Wars," by Jim Sterba.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Support Massachusetts Business - Dean's Beans

A great local company with a compelling mission is Dean's Beans in Orange, Massachusetts.  If you have a K-Cup machine, check out their lower impact filter pack that will fit in your machine.  The coffee is very good and it will warm your spirit to support this business.
  -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Congratulations Molly on becoming a Board Certified Entomologist!

Molly Moran Achieves Board Certified Entomologist Status
Molly Moran was recently certified as a Board Certified Entomologist by the Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation. To achieve Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) status, the minimum requirements one must have are a degree in entomology (or a related field), 3 years of experience in the entomology field, two letters of reference, the willingness to abide by ethical standards set in the BCE Code of Ethics, and one must pass two rigorous exams.
A 2008 graduate of the University ofMassachusetts, Molly started in the industry working in the field doing termite and pest control. Her great background at UMASS and in the industry is a solid foundation to start her career as a Board Certified Entomologist. Since October 2010, she has worked at GreenHow, Inc., a family owned pest and termite control business in Newton Massachusetts. As in any small business, she serves many capacities including troubleshooting issues at customer sites. She routinely meets with clients, performs site inspections and documents feedback of actions to be taken by the client and by the company. She uses a hand lens, a desk microscope and a usb microscope to identify collected specimens in the office and in the field. All the company service technicians depend on Molly’s insect identification and problem solving skills to make their customers happy.  Molly is a second generation BCE, joining her father, Kevin Moran of Residex, as a BCE. Kevin has been a BCE for more than 30 years.  Molly worked very hard to prepare for the test, which she passed on the first try. She developed training posters and study guides over the past year as she studied for the exam.
Everyone is very proud of Molly's accomplishments and know she will be a great entomologist.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Starting plants indoors - How about an indoor herb garden.

A cold and snowy day is a great day to start growing plants indoors and planning your garden this spring.  All you need are some simple indoor pots, with trays to protect windowsills from moisture, plus (most important) seeds.  You can grow from seed many herbs pick the ones you like and use to get the most enjoyment.  Basil, chives, cilantro and oregano are things that work in our kitchen. Select some pots, they can be as simple as yogurt containers or herb pots.  Urban Farmer has a great selection of Herb Kits with good looking and creative pots.  Good drainage is essential.  Place rocks in the bottom of the pots, then add your soil mix.  If using garden soil, mix it with peat moss, sand or perlite (1:1).  Then add your seeds and water.  Be careful not to overwater, monitor the soil moisture and add as needed.  The amount of water will vary depending on soil type and how dry your home is. This pdf from UMASS on starting seeds is helpful for your herb garden or starting plants for the spring. Remember that even south facing windows get cold at night so moving the plants away from windows at night (to become a table centerpiece) is a good idea.
  -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bullough's Pond, Newton, MA

A customer on Commonwealth Ave in Newton gave Sean a great book on Bullough's Pond in Newton.  For anyone interested in New England ecology and the connection to New England industry and settlement, Diane Muir's book Reflections in Bullough's Pond is riveting.  I had never heard of this book and now am grateful to have a hardcover copy.  The book is still available in paperback from University Press of New England or Amazon.com.  The book discusses many aspects of New England industry and ecology and returns to the Bullough's Pond throughout the book.  Bullough's Pond is located on the opposite corner of Commonwealth Ave from Newton City Hall and is bounded on the west by Walnut St, south by Commonwealth Ave, east by Bullough Park (home of some great groundhogs in the backyards of homes) and Dexter Rd to the North.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rove Beetle

An Arlington, MA customer found a rove beetle inside.  The photos are below, note the serrated antennae.  Rove beetles feed on fungus, other insect larva, decomposing organic matter.  They normally are not a structural pest, but if an area is extremely wet and a food source exists, insects that are usually outside will be found inside.  The solution for this issue is site sanitation, vacuuming the areas inside the beetles are seen, making sure a dehumidifier is used in season and the roofing systems (gutters, flashing, downspouts) are all moving water away from the structure.  Around the foundation minimize decomposing organic matter like leaf piles.  For more information on this beetle family, follow this link to University of Florida Entomology page on the rove beetle.

  -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sebum

Sebum is secreted by mammals.  It is also the material that rodents leave behind as they run across surfaces.  This material collects on hard surfaces and is visible on light colored surfaces like wires, concrete and wood. In this photo the light colored area is the stone wall and the dark wood beam is visible at the top.  The beam stops the progress of the rodents along the sill so they run down and under, leaving the sebum visible on the stones.  Securing or placing a trap right over the sebum marked runway will lead to success.  To make the trap more attractive, rub the sebum onto the trap trigger. -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.
Sebum rub marks visible top right of photo